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Report: Some NYC Restaurants Would Rather Be Fined Than Display Bad Grade

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - A number of New York City restaurants would rather be fined than risk losing business by displaying a failing health grade.

Of roughly 24,000 restaurants, nearly 1,400 have been hit with $1,000 fines for failing to display grades, WCBS 880's Paul Murnane reported.

More than half, 55 percent or 745, of those outlaw eateries had a bottom rank of "C." Forty-three percent, or 581 of them, got a "B."

Report: NYC Restaurants Would Rather Be Fined Than Display Bad Grade

The Daily News noted that there has been a 22 percent decline in cited restaurants compared to a year ago.

One manager said it ruins business and "I'd rather take the fine."

But one midtown restaurant manager at an establishment that displayed its "A" told Murnane that customers check the grade, even calling up on the phone to do so.

"They ask 'What's the letter grade?' They ask before they make the reservation sometimes," the manager said.

Thirty of the cited restaurants had an "A."

Andrew Rigie, head of the New York City Hospitality Alliance, explained why those restaurants would not display the grade, telling the Daily News that some business owners believe the system itself carries a stigma.

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